A reader recently wrote to us from Southwest Montana. She discovered 3 tiny “leech-like” worms in her bathtub. She explained that she bathed her 2 children, drained the tub, and then when she ran another bath she looked down and noticed the creatures. She put the specimens in a water bottle to photograph:
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She is hopeful that these worms are not intestinal worms that came from her children. She thinks they look a bit like tadpoles, and we have to agree! They are quite tiny and dark colored. We aren’t able to make out any other details.
There are a number of possibilities as to what these specimens might be. They could even be tiny leeches or tadpoles, but we aren’t sure where they would have come from. Based on the information we have and the photographs, our best guess it that our reader has found drain fly larvae.
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Drain fly larvae are extremley common household pests. They live and feed on the organic matter that builds up inside of a drain. Adult drain flies lay their eggs in this grime, and then the larvae hatch and begin to eat. If our reader is dealing with drain flies, she will need to use a cleaning agent designed to kill organic material to scrub out the bathtub drain. Once the organic matter is gone, the adult drain flies will have no where to lay their eggs, and any remaining larvae will have no food source.
While we think it is very likely that these worm-like organisms are drain fly larvae, we don’t feel as though we have enough evidence to make a confident identification. That being said, if our reader thinks these creatures might have come from her children (either from their intestines or if they were attached leeches) we encourage her to take them to see a doctor as soon as possible!
To summarize, one of our readers discovered 3 tiny “leech-like” worms in her bathtub after bathing her children. We think they might be drain fly larvae.